Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly is an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall. One of the islands, St Agnes, is the most southerly point in England, being over 4 miles further south than the most southerly point of the British mainland at Lizard Point; the population of all the islands at the 2011 census was 2,203. Scilly forms part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, some services are combined with those of Cornwall. However, since 1890, the islands have had a separate local authority. Since the passing of the Isles of Scilly Order 1930, this authority has had the status of a county council and today is known as the Council of the Isles of Scilly; the adjective "Scillonian" is sometimes used for things related to the archipelago. The Duchy of Cornwall owns most of the freehold land on the islands. Tourism is a major part of the local economy, along with agriculture—particularly the production of cut flowers; the islands may correspond to the Cassiterides believed by some to have been visited by the Phoenicians, mentioned by the Greeks.
However, the archipelago itself does not contain much tin. The isles were off the coast of the Brittonic Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia and its offshoot and may have been a part of these polities until their conquest by the English in the 10th century AD, it is that until recent times the islands were much larger and joined together into one island named Ennor. Rising sea levels flooded the central plain around 400–500 AD, forming the current 55 islands and islets, if an island is defined as "land surrounded by water at high tide and supporting land vegetation"; the word Ennor is a contraction of the Old Cornish En Noer, meaning'the land' or the'great island'. Evidence for the older large island includes: A description written during Roman times designates Scilly "Scillonia insula" in the singular, indicating either a single island or an island much bigger than any of the others. Remains of a prehistoric farm have been found on Nornour, now a small rocky skerry far too small for farming. There once was an Iron Age British community here.
This community was formed by immigrants from Brittany the Veneti who were active in the tin trade that originated in mining activity in Cornwall and Devon. At certain low tides the sea becomes shallow enough for people to walk between some of the islands; this is one of the sources for stories of drowned lands, e.g. Lyonesse. Ancient field walls are visible below the high tide line off some of the islands; some of the Cornish language place names appear to reflect past shorelines, former land areas. The whole of southern England has been sinking in opposition to post-glacial rebound in Scotland: this has caused the rias on the southern Cornish coast, e.g. River Fal and the Tamar Estuary. Offshore, midway between Land's End and the Isles of Scilly, is the supposed location of the mythical lost land of Lyonesse, referred to in Arthurian literature, of which Tristan is said to have been a prince; this may be a folk memory of inundated lands, but this legend is common among the Brythonic peoples.
Scilly has been identified as the place of exile of two heretical 4th century bishops and Tiberianus, who were followers of Priscillian. In 995, Olaf Tryggvason became King Olaf I of Norway. Born c. 960, Olaf had fought in several wars. In 986 he met a Christian seer on the Isles of Scilly, he was a follower of Priscillian and part of the tiny Christian community, exiled here from Spain by Emperor Maximus for Priscillianism. In Snorri Sturluson's Royal Sagas of Norway, it is stated that this seer told him: Thou wilt become a renowned king, do celebrated deeds. Many men wilt thou bring to faith and baptism, both to thy own and others' good; when thou comest to thy ships many of thy people will conspire against thee, a battle will follow in which many of thy men will fall, thou wilt be wounded to death, carried upon a shield to thy ship. The legend continues that, as the seer foretold, Olaf was attacked by a group of mutineers upon returning to his ships; as soon as he had recovered from his wounds, he let himself be baptised.
He stopped raiding Christian cities, lived in England and Ireland. In 995, he used an opportunity to return to Norway; when he arrived, the Haakon Jarl was facing a revolt. Olaf Tryggvason persuaded the rebels to accept him as their king, Jarl Haakon was murdered by his own slave, while he was hiding from the rebels in a pig sty. With the Norman Conquest, the Isles of Scilly came more under centralised control. About 20 years the Domesday survey was conducted; the islands would have formed part of the "Exeter Domesday" circuit, which included Cornwall, Dorset and Wiltshire. In the mid-12th century, there was a Viking attack on the Isles of Scilly, called Syllingar by the Norse, recorded in the Orkneyinga saga— Sweyn Asleifsson "went south, under Ireland, seized a barge belonging to some monks in Syllingar and plundered it."...the three chiefs—Swein, Þorbjörn and Eirik—went out on a plundering expedition. They went first to the Suðreyar, all along the west to the Syllingar, where they gained a great victory in Maríuhöfn on Columba's-mass, took much booty.